Editor's note: Church law expert Richard Hammar says zoning is one of the Top 5 issues to land a church in court. To learn more about church property and zoning laws, check out Richard's Volume 2 of "Pastor, Church, & Law, 4th Edition."
Below are 10 things your church should know about zoning:
1. Zoning laws can prevent your congregation (whether by lease or purchase) from using land or buildings in many areas. They can also prevent you from expanding current facilities.
2. Include a "zoning contingency clause" in any real estate contract to protect your congregation from a financial loss if permission to rezone the property is not obtained by authorities.
3. Check zoning laws in advance. If you plan to purchase land or expand your present facilities, check with municipal officials before you shop.
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